Countryside Properties is the United Kingdom's leading mixed-tenure property development company. Boasting over 60 years of experience, the home builder has managed to earn a reputation for delivering high-quality designs and buildings. Countryside's head office is located in Brentwood, Essex, with a wide array of offices all over the United Kingdom.
The house building company was founded in 1958. Its founder, Alan Cherry, remained its chairman until he died in 2010. The housebuilder Countryside Properties can be called a family business, as the eldest son, Graham Cherry, served on the board of directors in 1984, and in 1996 he was appointed executive director. The youngest son, Richard Cherry, was appointed to the board of directors in 1986 and became vice chairman in 2005.
Alan Cherry, then a Chartered Appraiser, started his career as a real estate agent. He was one of the founding partners of Bairstow Eves. Then Copthorn was founded by four of the company's partners in 1959, with Alan running the business part-time. Bairstow Eves had one client, the developer Countryside Properties, founded in 1958 by Solomon Bobroff. Thus, the two companies soon began to work together, and in 1972 merged into one. Countryside was then listed on the London Stock Exchange.
After Solomon Bobroff retired in 1974, Alan Cherry became the sole chief executive of the company. So, he paid great attention to design and marketing and singled out the company into many huge sites, such as Chelmer Village and Chatham Maritime. In 2005, Alan Cherry wanted to make the company private, but one of the investors, Paul Kemsley and Joe Lewis's Rock Properties, increased his stake to 28.5%. Thus, Alan had to pay more for the company. Copthorn Holdings Ltd soon bought the construction company.
Over the next couple of years, the company posted a record £27 million in profit on the annual turnover of £430 million. Despite this, the financial crisis of the late 2000s hit developers hard, and Countryside Properties suffered losses as well.
After the crisis in 2013, Oaktree Capital Management became the majority owner of the company. The Cherry family retains a minority stake, and Lloyds has provided a five-year loan. In 2014, the former CEO of Keepmoat, Ian Sutcliffe, became the new CEO. In 2014 Oaktree acquired Millgate, creating luxury property developments, revenue doubled, and Countryside Properties was renamed Countryside. From now on, the slogan of the company sounded like 'Places People Love'.
2015 saw a change in leadership at Countryside. David Howell became chairman of the board of directors. Ian Sutcliffe took over as Group CEO. At the same time, Graham Cherry became CEO of new homes and communities, and his brother, Richard Cherry, became CEO of the partnership.
The company has managed to create many magnificent house developments, including:
The company's expertise lies in building vibrant, sustainable communities. Instead of focusing only on building high-quality new build homes, Countryside also carefully considers the area's social and digital infrastructure, transport connections, and green spaces that help nurture a safe and lively community. The vital part of such a process is close cooperation with local communities to ensure that people's needs are well understood and promptly met.
Countryside Properties new homes have received many different awards. For example, in 2008, the Accordia development won the RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture. Also, this project became the Overall Winner & Medium Housebuilder Winner of the RIBA Housing Design Award 2006. In 2013 the Villa development won the silver award in the 'Best House' category, as part of the What House? Awards. The Horsted Park development took 'Housing Project of the Year' at the 2013 Building Awards.